How To Use Links To Grow Social Engagement
Go where the action is.
It’s timeless marketing advice and it describes why so many brands use social media as their primary online presence. In fact, a growing number of brands recognize that social channels are just as important as the brand’s website.
Since social channels are a foundation of brand presence, they’re a critical part of overall brand strategy. This is especially true because we can no longer assume that someone will visit our website as their first online contact with us.
Creating a strong brand requires “showing up” online consistently across all online channels and touchpoints, accurately measuring the results of these interactions, and taking every opportunity to engage with audiences to drive intended behaviors or actions. Using the right short URLs across all social channels is a key way to support the online brand initiatives. Unfortunately, short links are often overlooked, causing brands to miss valuable opportunities to grow and engage their audiences.
Creating the right digital identity strategy (including branded short links) may take some time, but will ultimately be worth the effort.
Drive traffic to your social channels
Growing a brand means growing your audience. Because they’re easy to read, easy to say, and easy to remember, branded short links are an effective way to drive traffic to your social pages from just about anywhere: a website, print ads, posters, billboards, radio ads, and other offline sources. (For example, you can create a dedicated branded .social domain, such as yourcompany.social.)
Because branded short links work well for both online and offline promotions, ads, and other forms of audience engagement, they allow you to measure how much traffic you’re driving to your online destinations across all your marketing efforts. More info here on how this works in the offline world.
Using a consistent branded short link strategy for every social channel helps to build brand consistency. Thus, whether someone discovers your brand on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram (or all three), your links are consistently showcasing your overall brand.
Maximize your space
Because your short link is made of real words, it becomes part of your message. If you want people to engage with you, the link itself is the perfect way to add a call to action.
Use URLs in profiles
Every social platform has a bio section, where you have the chance to make your URL stand out.
In fact, on Instagram, that’s the ONLY place you can use a short link (unless you’re paying for ads). Branded short links allow you to redirect the #LinkInBio link in your profile so you don’t have to send everyone to the ‘front door’ of your website.
Your branded short link can stay the same, but you can redirect it to different landing pages whenever you want. For example, during the holiday season, you can change the destination URL to redirect to your holiday promo page and then switch it back to your home page once the season is over. Or you can update it when you have a new product launch or a contest you’re promoting.
Read more about using links on Instagram.
Increase your ROI
When you’re investing in ads or other content, every click counts.
Research shows that people are twice as likely to click a link that uses real words. They’re also more likely to share branded links. That means that your branded short links are more likely to convert in paid ads, rather than a legacy unbranded URL; using branded short links, you gain a real, measurable return on your investment.
Track links in the images on social posts
Including a short URL as text in an image is another way to drive traffic from non-paid posts. The link isn’t clickable from the image, but if it’s short and memorable, it will be easy for users to remember and type into their browser to get to your website.
Apply your strategy every time you engage
Because they’re short and use real words, BL.INK branded short links are more trustworthy: they don’t look suspicious or spammy. That makes BL.INK links ideal for all kinds of social media engagement: posts, comments, and shares to descriptions and videos.
In Facebook live videos or YouTube videos, BL.INK short links are the ideal way to provide a memorable call to action. A short link is easier to say—and easier for the viewer to understand and remember—than a long, cumbersome link that uses character strings.
You can also, add links to the end screen that displays during the last few seconds of your YouTube videos:
- Subscribe: Grow your channel in one click by letting fans opt in to notifications about your new content.
- Video or Playlist: Keep people watching your other YouTube content.
- Channel: Link to a secondary YouTube channel you own, or to one of your peers for cross-promotion.
For more information on strengthening your YouTube strategy using short links, read this in-depth guide on how to link on YouTube when you’re not a YouTube partner.
Remember to track responses as you engage in different ways. For example, if you’re in a Facebook group for marketing professionals and want to drop a link in a comment to a related blog post on your site, use your short URL. You’ll be able to measure how many people actually clicked through to your site. If you pasted in the regular long URL, that information would be lost, since it won’t contain tracking metrics.
Track REAL engagement metrics across social platforms
Likes are great, shares are even better, and inspiring people to engage more deeply with your brand is gold. Rather than relying on “likes” and “shares” as your engagement metrics, BL.INK short links have analytics that tell you how many people took the intended action: subscribing, clicking through to your landing page, or engaging with more of your content.
BL.INK analytics are helpful on individual social channels, and even more helpful as a way to gather big-picture data from all channels by using the same short URL on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and others. BL.INK provides a transparent, consistent means to gather and report analytics so that you avoid discrepancies in the way each individual platform reports its data.
Learn more about how to use BL.INK with Google Analytics to quickly uncover insights that Google Analytics can’t do on its own.
Consistency is key
Just as a consistent presence is key to building your brand, consistency is also the key to getting the most out of your branded short links. As you implement and adhere to your strategy, over time you’ll begin to see a clearer picture of how your links support your overall growth.
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Whatever your needs, BL.INK has you covered with flexible options and generous customer service, and we’re happy to help you upgrade when you’re ready.